"IT WILL COME AS NO SURPRISE to anyone who has listened to a commencement speech in the last ten years to know that a spirit of elitism has bee fostered among students – and deliberately – by politicians. Not so well known is the fact that many professors pander this same line to their classes, telling them how smart, how well-educated they are.
"The words of politician and professor combine to reinforce the usual late-teenage ignorance; students of that age already assert their self-superiority. In short, too many professors pander to their audience and help the student to believe what his feelings of inadequacy have led him to assert: that he is smart and educated, that youth equates with wisdom, that age equates with obstinacy and wrongness, and that the past has no lessons for the present."
IT'S A LIE, and a ironic one, because we have seen the dumbing down of several generations in public education.
Modern teachers usually go to college for six years before beginning to teach. UP magazine #603 featured an article about a teacher in the early 1900s, "At 18 years old she taught school" by David Frimodig:
"A teacher's first day is never without qualms, but lrene Prisk had more than the average reason for concern. The 'school' was the living room of the Trevilyan farmhouse . . The teaching materials included a box of broken chalk, a piece of slate, and some old books – and the student body consisted of 9 children, seven of whom spoke only Finnish . .
"It hadn't looked like Irene's widow mother could send her to college, but a family friend encouraged her to take the county teacher's exam and here she was. It wasn't the only challenge she would face in front of Copper Country blackboards, but it was certainly one of the greatest."
Irene got $48 a month but paid $20 for room and board. It only cost the school $10 a month to rent the room, but by Christmas program time, Irene had the Finns starting to speak English.
"DURING HER CAREER, Irene witnessed many innovations in education. She agreed with a few of them, tolerated others, and openly rebelled when necessary. After receiving the directive that the phonics approach to reading had been abolished, she told her instructors to continue teaching phonics.
''But when the superintendent visits your class, don't teach phonics.' When the superintendent asked why her school fared so much better than others on reading tests, Irene said she didn't have the slightest idea."
THERE MUST BE A LESSON IN THERE SOMEWHERE.
P.S. Irene was the name of my kindergarten through third grade teacher, too. We farm kids were only given six weeks of kindergarten, but after only perhaps 2 or 3 weeks, we were READING! Hooked on phonics, of course. When those rural kids took their 8th grade exam, most of them rated 10th grade proficiency, several 11th grade, and two of us '12th grade, first month."
PPS: ENOUGH SAID YET? IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY, OR "FOR THE KIDS." IT'S JUST A QUESTION OF DO THE EDUCRATS WANT YOUR KIDS TO BE EDUCATED? OR DON'T THEY?© Curtis Dahlgren
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